Southampton’s Christmas Market has been growing in size and popularity for a few years now, so if you find yourself fancying a trip in December, make sure the German Christmas market is on your list.
Spanning the length of the high street, the market boasts 40 independent stall holders and is a great place to top up your Christmas gifts. From candles, clothing and jewellery to wooden ornaments and snow globes, the atmosphere is enough to warm any Scrooge struggling in the winter cold.
You’ll hear joyful music blazing from the speakers behind the wonderful alpine chalets – the sloped roofs and timber exteriors giving the market a German look. As you walk past the stalls, admiring the wares, you’ll also be greeted by the delicious smells wafting from the various foods available. Bratwurst, crepes, gingerbread and other sweet treats are all on offer as you join the bustling crowds enjoying some festive fare.
If you have little ones in tow, the highlight is sure to be the ‘Flying Santa’ that takes place twice each evening. Soaring through the sky from one end of the market to the other, Father Christmas will mesmerise his audience before landing and handing out gifts to the children.
If you’ve finished your Christmas shopping and fancy a sit down, the biggest draw for many visitors is the bar. It’s expanded over the years thanks to its popularity, and though it does get busy, the atmosphere is great and you’ll find it easy to wash down a pint of beer or a mug of mulled wine.
If you’d like to make a day of it, and your festive spirit is in full flow, a real ice rink has made its way to Southampton and is certainly proving to be a big hit. The new esplanade Ice Rink is next to the new West Quay complex, situated in the shadow of the historic city walls. The fairy lights and alpine theme continues here, with only the stumbling skaters stopping you from thinking you’re in the perfect Christmas movie.
If you’re in need an extra dose of Christmas cheer, the market and the ice rink will certainly do the trick. I think a Christmas Market is a must do during the festive season – it’s a wonderful tradition that should be upheld or started, and it’s a great way to support independent businesses.
Southampton Christmas Market and Ice Rink
Above Bar St, Southampton SO14 7DU